I had always thought from examples that “だめ” can have a slang positive connotation in context, similar to how English speakers often use “sick” or “damn” to express positive emotions, but I cannot find any of this usage in dictionaries anywhere so am I wrong? For instance, a citation I have in front of me is:


Which would imply a positive connotation. — Is this usage limited only to sexual cases or can it also be used for instance as “ダメ、ここは音楽がいい” to for instance praise the music in a club?

  • A bit over a year ago, I defied a handful old-guard, peremptory users demanding immediate censorship and proudly defended an ELL question asking about a sentence, a question which, looking totally innocent, was later discovered to have been excerpted from a work of erotica. That user seemed genuinely confused about a word usage. But I am not sure your question is of that same ilk. I still hold the same view: sexual content itself shouldn't be a problem, but should be avoided if it doesn't even help clarify the question. Where's your line come from?
    – Eddie Kal
    Apr 22, 2022 at 6:17
  • The post in no way hides that the context is sexual in the following sentence, and my inquiry is whether the use of “だめ” is only limited to sexual cases or can generally be applied to music as well so obviously the citation is relevant I would say.
    – Zorf
    Apr 22, 2022 at 7:48
  • I'm not saying your post hides that. I'm saying attributing your line and giving a source would be a steady step towards transparency in these posts, and if it's a sentence you made up, I'd also suggest you mention it. And tbh, in general, I wouldn't recommend making up your sentences and asking if they are idiomatic. There has been a lot of discussion on this over the years on ELL, about why it's not a good idea for learners to ask about their own creations.
    – Eddie Kal
    Apr 22, 2022 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


This type of だめ implies some stimuli, desire, temptation, etc., is irresistible. It may be most common in sexual contexts, but when someone says "ダメだ、コンビニでお菓子買ってくる", this ダメ means he has been trying to resist the temptation of sweets but he couldn't any more.

  • So, to be clear, the example with the music in the club is not idiomatic?
    – Zorf
    Apr 22, 2022 at 7:42
  • @Zorf The speaker doesn't seem to be trying to resist something in the music example, so I read it just as "No, I want music here".
    – naruto
    Apr 22, 2022 at 7:48
  • it's not a citation but simply something I invented myself. How would you read “ダメ、すごく美味しい”, for instance?
    – Zorf
    Apr 22, 2022 at 7:50
  • @Zorf Yes that makes sense, it means it's tasty irresistibly, undeniably or admittedly.
    – naruto
    Apr 22, 2022 at 7:52
  • 2
    @Zorf Yes this ダメ can mean "I cannot deny any longer" or "I give up, I admit". (But you meant to say この歌好き, right?)
    – naruto
    Apr 22, 2022 at 8:43

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